India Abroad January 10, 2014 A27 SPORTS
Virat, man of the moment
Virat Kohli had
big boots to fill in,
having to bat at
number 4, the
position left vacant
after batting icon
passed the test
with flying colors,
giving ample proof
of why many
regard him as the
next big thing in
After poor form
in the ODI series,
Africans ahead of
the Tests, Kohli
answered critics in
style with a century in the first
innings of the
missed out on the
landmark of becoming the fourth Indian to
score a hundred in each innings of a Test
when he fell for 96 in the second innings.
Kohli was the second highest run-scorer,
with 272 runs at an average of 68.
Pujara, worthy heir to number
proved he is
heir to that
He finished as the
highest run-scorer in
runs, at an
70, and a
of 153 in Johannesburg, which left the South Africans in
awe of his batting prowess.
Rahane’s golden run
Ajinkya Rahane had been traveling with the Indian
team for nearly three years, but before the South African
tour he played just one Test.
When he did get the opportunity of an extended run
against the Proteas, he made sure he grabbed it with both
In Johannesburg, he played a good innings of 47, but fell
cheaply in the second innings for just 15. He made up for
it with two splendid knocks in Durban and showed great
courage to stand up to Dale Steyn despite taking a few
hits on the body.
His magnificent 96 saved India the humiliation of an
Mixed tour for Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja was handed a surprise call-up for the
second Test and he certainly didn’t disappoint with the
ball. With the bat, he came in for much criticism, especial-
ly after throwing his wicket away in the second innings
when the need of the hour was to stay at the wicket.
Zaheer, back with a bang
Zaheer Khan made a comeback to the Indian team after
nearly a year and certainly didn’t disappoint.
It was his brilliant spell in the first innings of the first
Test — when he took four for 88 — that inspired the
young Indian pace attack as they came close to victory.
He also proved fitness issues were a thing of the past as
he sent 60.3 overs in Johannesburg. The veteran pacer
was India’s highest wicket-taker with seven
wickets at an average of 45.
Shami shows promise
Mohammed Shami showed a lot of
promise and heckled the South African
batsmen with his extra pace and swing.
He took six wickets, at an average of 43,
and certainly impressed.
Murali passes the test
Before the South Africa ntour, there were
doubts if Murali Vijay had it in him to play
against the moving ball. He put on a gutsy
display of batting against the world’s best
fast bowling attack.
His leaving deliveries outside the off-stump frustrated the South African pacers
to quite an extent in the first Test and gave
the other Indian batsmen a lot of belief.
He played a good knock of 97 in the first
innings in Durban and finished with a
creditable 148 runs, at an average of 37.
Harish Kotian assesses Indian performances in the South Africa series HITS and MISSES
Dhawan’s poor outing
For Shikhar Dhawan, it was a tour
that taught him a lot. He finished with
a meager 76 runs in four innings, even
though he promised a lot more each
time he came out to bat.
He kept throwing his wicket away
after getting off to decent starts.
This was the young left-hander’s first
series outside the country and he will
gain a lot from this experience.
Not a good tour for Rohit
For Rohit Sharma, this was a series
he would like to forget in a hurry. After
his dream debut against the West
Indies — he scored two centuries in his
first two Tests on batting-friendly
pitches in India — he
looked totally at sea
against the moving
ball in South Africa.
He finished with a
poor 45 runs, at an
average of 11. That
score was bettered by
the South African
The only thing
Dhoni did right in
the series was win-
ning the toss and
making the correct
decision to bat. His
captaincy in both
Tests left a lot to be desired as he went
on the defensive too early at times.
His batting too was a big disappointment. His highest score in the series
was 29 and he finished with 87 runs.
His most disappointing showing was
in Durban, where he delayed taking
the second new ball, and played a reckless shot which cost him his wicket at a
crucial juncture in the second innings.
Ashwin fails to inspire
Ravichandran Ashwin had a forget-
table outing in Johannesburg, where
he failed to pick a single wicket in the
He failed to inspire, his lackluster
bowling hardly a threat to the South
Ishant yet to
continued with his
inconsistent showing in South
Africa, but enjoyed
his skipper’s backing.
who has played 53
Tests, Ishant is yet
to deliver match-winning performances with the ball.
In South Africa,
he took just five
wickets, at an average of 62.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni